studiotwentysix2 the art + design of tom davie

Monday, April 2, 2007

What’s Cooking?

It’s been too long since my last profile of a painter, so that’s what we have on-tap for today.

Monica Cook has a strange, but intriguing body of portrait work. I say strange because her figures are rendered in a similarly effective manner, but the background treatments run a stylistic gamut. In some portraits, the heads are disembodied and floating, in others, the backgrounds are harshly painted-over, causing the figures to become outlined. Some backgrounds incorporate repetitive textures and others seem to envelope the subject.

Nonetheless, the figures are beautifully painted, and Cook does an excellent job conveying her subject’s mood. I really enjoy her mix of nude and clothed figures. The presence of clothing, or lack thereof, appears to be of minimal importance to either the artist or the subject, as positioning and body language seem to be of much greater consequence.

My major issue with Cook’s work is the presentation. The paintings are shown in a single-page thumbnail format, which is usually adequate, but in this case, the format seems to overwhelm the individual paintings. The inconsistent spacing between thumbnails doesn’t help much either. Since the background styles vary quite a bit, I would prefer to see the work one painting at a time. In my opinion, it would be much easier to appreciate the background style changes if the individual works were shown sequentially and built off each other.

Personal website preferences aside, Monica Cook has a great body of work, which is certainly worth a look.




  • Monica Cook
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